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CAB Reviews

A reviews journal covering agriculture, global health, nutrition, natural resources and veterinary science

CAB Review

The main agricultural insect and disease pests of China and implications for the use of remote sensing for their management.


This review selects the major agricultural insect and disease pests of agriculture in China, and discusses the implications for developing the use of remote sensing to improve their management. The most important crops were selected as those, which contribute more than 5% nationally in terms of total agricultural land occupied, total weight of agricultural produce or total value of agricultural produce: i.e. rice, wheat, maize, potato, sugarcane and brassica crops (for which Chinese cabbage was used as an exemplar). Our approach to selecting the most important pests on these crops was to compile lists for each crop of the pests that are primary pests on that crop, and either have at least 20 papers published regarding their occurrence on that crop in China, or occur in at least 17 of the 34 provincial-level administrative districts. Based on these factors, we identified 3-6 major pests for each crop. These selections were then discussed with national IPM experts to assess their appropriateness, and minor adjustments made. This gave us a list of 29 major insect and disease pests for China. We also identified those pests of our selected major crops in neighbouring countries that presented a quarantine risk, or might be expected to threaten China as climate changes, i.e., (i) those pests present in central Asia (and further west), which could spread to China without climate change and (ii) pests which are more tropical in distribution, but could spread north with climate warming. Tables were compiled on symptoms, thresholds for action and options for pest management responses. These are discussed in terms of the scope for remote sensing of these pests in China and how the information generated or forecast would be used to improve pest management in the context of the existing agricultural extension service. Recommendations are made for future work.